The Government of India initiated the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) program. Under this program, the Union Cabinet, through Department of Science and Technology (DST), has launched several Technology and Innovation Hubs (TIHs) across the country focusing on different areas of Cyber-Physical Systems such as Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, IoT, Data Science, Security, and many more as well as sectors related to health, agriculture, water, transportations, finance, etcetera. Through a competitive process, Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur is identified to host the TIH on Computer Vision and Augmented and Virtual Reality (CV and ARVR).
The TIH at IIT Jodhpur is named as iHub Drishti and it will: (i) focus on advancing the research outcomes in core problems related to CV and, ARVR, (ii) augment imaging with additional (multimodal) sources of input such as haptics, language, and IoT to advance state-of-the-art in the domain areas, (iii) create technology solutions for socially relevant and industry-facing problems, (iv) support and nurture start-up ecosystems, (v) stimulate skilling and reskilling educational programs, and (v) advise governments for appropriate policy-related matters in the domain of CV and ARVR.
iHub Drishti, a Section 8 company, is hosted in the premises of IIT Jodhpur. The hub, steered by the Hub Governing Board and the Director of the TIH, will host teams of faculty members, research scholars, developers and scientists who will work towards developing the technologies. Further, four different kinds of partners are identified: (i) research collaborators from national and international institutions, (ii) domain expert partner institutions, (iii) hub and spoke model (mentor-mentee) based partner institutions, and (iv) research labs and industry including startups. The TIH envisions creating an ecosystem in and around the thematic areas and building collaborations with other TIHs to foster the overall growth and development of CPS technologies. The facility would include a mix of office and laboratory spaces with state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities that will cater to the collaborating institutions. The TIH will also build a network of researchers and developers, both externally hired and from the student body, such that in the next 5 years, iHub Drishti becomes the main hub of technologies related to computer vision, virtual and augmented reality in the entire country.
The proposed TIH will initially focus on fundamental research, developing Intellectual Properties and building prototypes (TRL 3-4). Based on the technologies generated, these IPs will be converted into products and then marketed in association with startups, industry and its own team of executives. The experts, through iHub Drishti, will also provide consulting services to other companies and government institutions. It is envisioned that iHub Drishti will be self-sustaining by the end of five years with continuous growth in research, technology and product portfolio.
Project Director, iHUB Drishti
Professor and Swarnajayanti Fellow
Department of Computer Science and Engineering